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Monday, 7 July 2008

Recipes from the Crappiest Cook

It has been cold and I have been craving big thick casserole. I made the best vegetable stew in the world on the weekend.

In the slow cooker, throw in all the bits of veggies in the fridge that are about to go off or are half used.

I used
1 onion (2 halves)
1/2 sweet potato - cubed
1/2 eggplant - cubed
all the cherry tomatoes that were soft
2 zucchini - cut lengthwise
1/2 pumpkin - rough chunks
1/2 capsicum - strips
2 handfuls of button mushrooms - whole
and a can of salt free crushed tomatoes

I think that was all. Put it on high and leave it for about 4 hours until it is all soft and mushy. The pumpkin and sweet potato dissolve and make the juice all ... well ... thick really. The mushrooms, capsicum and skins of the zucchini and eggplant are the only solid bits.

Now it is not particularly tasty on its own but that is sort of on purpose. You can add any meat/chicken/fish you want to it when you heat it up and then put a bit of BBQ sauce on top or stir in some curry powder or chilli or whatever. It also means you can weigh your meat/chicken/fish separately which helps with working out the calories.

I put the whole lot into CK and guessed it was about 5 servings. So two big ladles full was around 90 calories. Add your chicken or meat and you've got a huge meal for 200 odd calories.

After eating chicken and vegetable casserole all weekend I felt like pizza for tea. I have been reading a lot of gluten free recipe blogs in the last couple of days and there are various types of flat bread made basically with just non-wheat flour and water. So I made my own pizza base with protein powder. I am sure that natural flavour would have been better than vanilla but who cares when you're hungry.

Pizza base
40g protein powder
40g low fat cottage cheese
1 egg white
100g pre-cooked pumpkin
pinch of baking powder
**psyllium husk to bind (quite a bit - take it slowly though because it thickens the longer you leave it)
**actually if you are not used to eating psyllium husk you should probably use something else. I have it in my pancakes and porridge all the time but it is pure fibre so drink lots of water and don't say I didn't warn you.

Mix it all together adding the psyllium husk last. Don't worry about making it as thick as dough, more like a pancake mix consistency - still runny.

Pour the mixture on to that fabulous Glad Bake and Cooking paper on a baking tray (don't worry that it looks like someone just threw up!). With the back of a spoon smooth out into a large rectangle (or even a circle for a true pizza) and bake in a moderate oven (180 c) until it starts to go brown. Turn if over if you want when it gets solid (mine was cooking more on the bottom because of the baking tray).

When it is cooked spread some of your veggie casserole on top, a bit of real cheese and some spinach. Pop everything back in and wait for the cheese to melt.

The base by itself is 240 calories, 2.6 g fat, 45g protein, 10g carb then just add your toppings. Mine added up to 470 but only because I had heaps of calories left for the day and I wanted good full fat jarlsberg cheese on top.

The crust was dry and crunchy (and a bit sweet with the pumpkin and vanilla!) but supported the topping quite well. The whole thing was 4 decent sized slices, filled me right up and was a perfectly acceptable substitute for the real thing for me. I could have had a salad with it but I was too lazy.

I would have taken a photo but when I got my camera out the battery was dead and I wasn't waiting for it to charge.

The best part is it made me FULL, not hungrier like normal wheat based pizza does. In fact I don't think I'll even need dessert tonight.


  1. The veg casserole sounds great - I love those sorts of dishes. But OMG - you used VANILLA whey in your pizza base? LMAO!!

    I have a few wheat flour alternatives that work well and are easy to get - rice flour and buckwheat flour are great, and so is besan flour (made from chick peas) which you can buy at Indian groceries.

    I'll try to do some experimenting and post a recipe or two. Hmm, wonder if mooshed-up canned chick peas would work as a savoury base ingredient?

  2. I reckon the best stews and soups are the ones you just throw together - I don't understand ppl using recipes cos why bother buying special ingredients.

    LOLZ at the vanilla protein powder.